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NF: Aside from the IMS technical sessions, RFIC Symposium, and affiliated workshops, what special offerings will be available to attendees this year? Are there any historical exhibits, for example?

LD: This year, the Automatic RF Techniques Group (ARFTG) is joining up with the IEEE WAMICON event on Friday. We also are hosting a STEM program for teens. In addition, Project Connect will bring a number of undergraduate students from underrepresented groups to the conference. The IMS will have an updated historical exhibit that provides a fantastic overview of how microwave technology has developed over the years. Of course, the IMS also will host the largest RF and microwave industry exhibition in the world. This provides an amazing opportunity for engineers from all over the world to see firsthand the latest industry developments and trends. The IMS exhibit showcases everything from material and component suppliers to system integrators. A subset of the exhibitors also will be providing technical seminars as part of the MicroApps program (see the IMS 2014 website for full details).

NF: Given your experience at Modelithics and your work on the show, how do you think that the show and the industry are being increasingly shaped by software?

LD: Well, I think the main players are well defined with some smaller contributors (like us) filling niches. Just to give an example, an area that remains hot is gallium-nitride (GaN) PA technology. In the old days, software was not a major part of PA design. That has all changed to the extent that it will be difficult to market GaN transistors without good nonlinear models. In addition, designers are expecting their simulated design to work in the lab with minor tweaks. To make that happen, they are combining nonlinear power-transistor models simulated in a harmonic-balance circuit simulator with electromagnetic (EM) simulations of packages and boards—if PCB-based—as well as other interconnect and passive structures on their MMICs. Thermal analyses also are becoming more commonplace in such circuits. This is just one area we have been participating in that will be well-represented on the show floor as well as in the workshops and technical sessions.  

NF: Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about this year’s IMS?

LD: Yes. Our theme, “Powering the Waves,” is inspired by two things. One is the fact that it is precisely the MTT Society members and all those who frequent IMS who truly power the technology that enables “microwaves” in all of the many related applications and embodiments. You might think of the annual conference as a time to get refueled to go back and plow through technical and business challenges with new knowledge, refreshed ideas, and new power. The other inspiration will be obvious when you stand on the dock near the convention center, drive past some of the bays, or visit the beaches or lakes. You will see there is a lot of fun to be had powering around the waves of the Florida waters on various vessels. But at IMS 2014, our technical sessions, workshops, and sold-out exhibit floor will focus on how we all can learn some things to help power the microwaves of our industry. Consistent with our theme, we also are replacing the traditional opening reception with an upbeat, dockside kickoff celebration that attendees will not want to miss on Monday evening. All Microwave Week attendees and exhibitors are welcome!

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